Meanwhile, a source close to Sun said: "One of the productive things about Sun joining Eclipse would be a peace offering between SWT [Standard Widget Toolkit] and Swing. Another good thing would be a cross-fertilization of good ideas between Eclipse and NetBeans." SWT and Swing are dueling Java GUI libraries. SWT is the IBM-backed library that is part of the Eclipse platform, and Swing is Suns technology and part of the Java 2 Standard Edition platform.McGaughey said "an invitation is open and there is dialogue going on" even now about Sun joining Eclipse, and it will be up to the new board to decide on the next moves regarding any outstanding negotiations. "I know conversations are still going on," said Mike Taylor, president and chief executive of Instantiations Inc., of Portland, Ore., an Eclipse member. "Sun made an announcement that they werent going to join immediately, but I remain optimistic that down the road, in the not too distant future, Eclipse and Sun will get together." Instantiations business strategy is evidence that Eclipse has taken on a world of its own and spawned business opportunities for smaller companies, but also that there is room for competing toolsets. Instantiations produces a suite of integrated tools for Eclipse developers. "We made a decision to commit to the Eclipse platform," Taylor said. "The kind of tools we do, we want to go deep and native. The JTC is not very interesting to us because weve already made our decision to go deep and native on Eclipse." Sun joining Eclipse would go a long way toward uniting two of the leading forces in Java, but BEA Systems Inc., another Java leader, has made no indication that it is considering joining. Simon Phipps, Suns chief technology evangelist, is scheduled to speak next week at the EclipseCon conference in what show organizers said appears to be one of the most anticipated talks of the event. Novell Inc. last week at the LinuxWorld conference in New York announced its plans to join Eclipse to deliver a common tooling strategy for Novell developers going forward and to provide a consistent platform for building, testing and debugging applications across the Novell product line.
"There is no fundamental hostility between Sun and Eclipse," said a source close to Sun.